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Canada announce veteran-heavy squad for WCup quals

A veteran-laden roster will lead Canada into World Cup qualifying next week, including seven MLSers.

Coach Stephen Hart announced his squad Wednesday for Canada’s first pair of matches in what the Canucks hope is a long qualification campaign. There were few surprises in Hart’s 19-man roster as the team looks to put its best foot forward from the opening kick.

Included in the side are Real Salt Lake’s Will Johnson, Houston Dynamo defender Andre Hainault, D.C. United duo Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic, as well as Toronto FC midfield pair Julian de Guzman and Terry Dunfield. Also receiving the call was 35-year-old left back Ante Jazic of Chivas USA, his first call-up since he played in a friendly in Jamaica back in January 2010.

Joining the domestic-based players are European league veterans Atiba Hutchinson and Kevin McKenna, who both have more than 50 caps for Canada, along with seasoned goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld (34 caps).

Fourteen of the 19 players on the squad were also on the Canada team that played below expectations at the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup, with Hart counting on his team to quickly rebound from that disappointing performance.

The Canadians host St. Lucia at Toronto’s BMO Field on Sept. 2, then travel to Puerto Rico four days later.

FULL CANADA ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Lars Hirschfeld (Vålerenga, Norway), Milan Borjan (Sivasspor, Turkey)

DEFENDERS (7): Nik Ledgerwood (SV Wehen Wiesbaden, Gemany), Kevin McKenna (1.FC Köln, Germany), Andre Hainault (Houston Dynamo), Ante Jazic (Chivas USA), Dejan Jakovic (DC United), Jaime Peters (Ipswich Town, England), Mike Klukowski (Manisaspor, Turkey)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Julian de Guzman (Toronto FC), Terry Dunfield (Toronto FC), Will Johnson (Real Salt Lake), Josh Simpson (Manisaspor, Turkey), Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Dwayne De Rosario (DC United)

FORWARDS (4): Tosaint Ricketts (FC Politehnica Timişoara, Romania), Simeon Jackson (Norwich City, England), Olivier Occean (SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Germany), Iain Hume (Preston North End, England)